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Our Values

We believe a statement of HAI’s values cannot be complete without acknowledging the protests and calls for justice that have swept our country and world in the wake of the most recent tragic deaths of black citizens. Their deaths reflect the latest loss of black lives as the result of a long history of police abuse and must be understood in the context of generations of racism and systemic inequities in our society.

HAI is not a political or partisan institute, but as our values statement articulates, we are committed to supporting and improving the wellbeing of humanity. Future technologies should strive to assist in this effort but successful strategies must go far beyond the deployment of any technological fix in order to effect the necessary change on both individual and societal levels.

We are members of a shared society with a common mission:  building the “more perfect union” envisioned in our nation’s founding document.  HAI’s mission would be incomplete without acknowledging and fully embracing that unfinished endeavor. 

AI is a general purpose technology that can be used for good and for ill. Our vision for the future is led by our commitment to promoting human-centered uses of AI, and ensuring that humanity benefits from the technology and that the benefits are broadly shared. Our actions as an institute are motivated by this vision and guided by five core values:

Integrity

We strive for integrity in everything we do. We treat every individual with respect. In our research and education, we maintain the highest standards, acknowledge mistakes, and are transparent about sources of funding. We respect every individual’s fundamental right to privacy. We are motivated by questions of basic and applied research, not by profit.

Humanity

We value the well-being of humans and humanity, and are committed to ensuring that the power of AI is used to improve the human condition, not diminish it. As such, we focus on applications that augment and enhance human capabilities rather than simply displacing or replacing them. In a time of increasing automation, we aim to better understand its implications and find technical as well as policy mechanisms to manage this transition. We study the global impact of AI on the economy and society, in hopes of promoting positive outcomes and mitigating the negative.

Balance

We are a research and policy institute. Though individual researchers are allowed and indeed encouraged to defend specific policy positions, the institute itself maintains neutrality. HAI does not engage in advocacy, and is strictly nonpartisan in electoral politics. We strive to understand all perspectives, and to give each its due. We intend to remain an open forum for meaningful and productive discussion among leaders in academia, government, civil society, and industry.

Independence

We are committed to the independence and autonomy of HAI’s activities. We raise outside capital to support our work, but we accept no funding that would affect our ability to pursue work free of external interference. We fiercely protect the independence of our researchers in their intellectual activities and individual funding relationships. This is made clear to all who provide financial support. For more detail, please see our fundraising policy.

Diversity & Inter-
disciplinarity

We believe the quality of any intellectual endeavor is improved when participants reflect diversity in the broadest sense, including gender, ethnic and socioeconomic background, but also intellectual, cultural and political perspectives. We recognize that the field of AI, and academia in general, do not yet reflect this diversity, and that changing such systemic issues will take time, but we aim to decrease the disparity. We are committed to seeking the insights, experiences, and concerns of people across ethnicities, genders, cultures and socio-economic groups, as well as those from multiple disciplines and with divergent political views.

For questions, contact HAI-Institute@stanford.edu.